Cosmic Rays - where do they come from?

9 Mar 2011

At ... it is thought cosmic rays have an origin in distant supernova events - but is this true? An Italian physicist, at the University of Rome, in a paper in Science (March 3rd, 2011), says cosmic rays aren't actually rays, strictly so, they are fast moving particles that carry an extraordinary amount of energy and they continuously bombard the earth from every direction. According to the supernovae theory, clouds of gas gust forth and generate strong magnetic fields and accelerate charged particles, ejecting them through space. The PAMELA satellite in orbit around the earth has spent several years collating cosmic rays. They are mostly the nuclei of hydrogen and Helium with energy values of billions of electron volts. The conclusions are being questioned - vigorously.